Govt Rapped for Disregarding Expert Views over WWII Remains

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--The welfare ministry was criticized Monday for disregarding specialists over the remains of foreigners mistakenly brought to Japan under its project to find the remains of Japanese soldiers who died abroad during World War II.

"The ministry made light of the opinions of specialists," said a report by a team looking into the problem. The team criticized the ministry for failing to take action for many years even after specialists warned the ministry that the collected remains might be those of non-Japanese.

"We'll investigate closely and administer punishments if necessary," welfare minister Katsunobu Kato told a press conference.

The team including a lawyer and university professors conducted hearings with ministry officials and investigated the meeting records of a relevant specialist panel.

From 2005, DNA analysis specialists repeatedly told the ministry that the remains collected in nine places in Russia and those found in the Philippines might not be those of Japanese, according to the report.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press